Animated Dotted Line

Animated Dotted Line
Difficulty: Easy
Description: A tutorial on creating and animating a dotted line pattern which can be incorporated in images of all kinds.
Author: Pokey; Date Added: 2007-02-17; Views: 20150
In this tutorial, I will teach you how to create a moving line in your signatures or avatars. For this tutorial we will be using a mixture of Photoshop and ImageReady.
First, open-up Photoshop, create a new document 3 pixels wide and 1 pixel high and make the background transparent. Now use the Pencil tool to create a 1 pixel black dot at the left on the image.

Now click on Edit>>Define Pattern and call the pattern whatever you want to call it.
Now open-up an image that you want to apply moving lines to, such as a signature. Keep in mind that your signature should be simple, as you'll end-up saving the Image as a .gif (Which can only have a maximum of 256 colours). I've gone with this one:

Now select the Single Row Marquee Tool, which can be obtained by right-clicking the Rectangular Marquee Tool on the toolbox.

Select an area of your image, preferably the top or bottom. Now Zoom-in all the way on your image, and click on the Paint Bucket Tool (Press G on your Keyboard). Now click on Fill>>Pattern at the top of the screen, and select the pattern that we just made.

Now, fill the selected area, and, if you are working on a dark image like I am, invert the colour (Ctrl+I) of the selection. I recommend that you apply the line pattern on a new layer. You can continue doing this until you are happy with what you have, although I think that a set of lines at the top and bottom of the image looks best.
Here is what I have so far on my image, notice how I have lowered the opacity of the lines a little. Their opacity is now 20%, you can either change it if you want, or not, it's up to you.

Looks pretty boring, right? So, this is where we start to Animate! Import the file over to ImageReady by pressing this button:

Now that you're in ImageReady, I figure that I should point something out for Newbies to the software:

The next step - the animation step, is relatively simple to follow. Just create a new layer (You can see the option for it on the previous screenshot) and duplicate your dot (Or line, whatever) layer. Make your original line layers invisible for the second frame. Now, grab the Move Tool (Press V on your keyboard) and move your lines either 1 pixel to the left or right, depending on which way you want your lines to travel. Follow this step one more time if you've used the pattern I told you to make. Note that you may need to go back sometimes to fix some errors. But after a while you should have your finished product:

Don't forget to experiment. If you're confident enough, you could have lines going in separate directions!